Dorset

Wimborne 'Olympic' roadworks starts despite complaints

Artist's impression of how the new Canford Bottom roundabout may look when the work is finished.
Image caption Some roads are set to close for up to 12 weeks while the new roundabout is completed

Work on a £5.7m road scheme in Dorset is under way despite complaints from local businesses.

The development of A31 Canford Bottom roundabout, near Wimborne, is being done ahead of the 2012 Olympic sailing events in Weymouth and Portland.

Small businesses which will be affected by road closures claim it could lead to job losses.

The Highways Agency said it aims to minimise disruption during the development.

The work is expected to take nine months to complete with some roads set to close for up to 12 weeks.

The scheme is to include the construction of a dual carriageway through the middle of the roundabout to link the A31 trunk road.

This so-called "hamburger" junction will have about 70 traffic lights to control the traffic from the A31 and four adjoining local roads.

About 20 small businesses, including those in the nearby Ferndown Industrial Estate where 1,600 people work, will be affected by closures while the work is carried out.

'In the dark'

Terry Clegg, from local car dealership Hill & Son Ltd, said: "Local business owners have been totally left in the dark with regard to the plans - nobody cares about us.

"If the developers took their time to let the Olympics pass instead of trying to get the interchange finished in time for the Games, they could close one road off at a time.

"Doing it all at once means it's just going to wipe a load of businesses out."

In a statement, the Highways Agency said it aims to minimise disruption, with diversions being put in place to give alternative routes to businesses.

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